- Hanes is offering a twist on the Victorian Era with a new campaign set in its founding year of 1901, per a press release.
- Developed with partner The Martin Agency, “Make Yourself Comfortable” breaks with the period’s stuffy conventions by showing aristocrats stripping off their attire and dancing in Hanes Originals to the tune of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.”
- Going live around the NBA Playoffs, the campaign includes a long-form cinematic spot and three 30-second ads. Paid and organic social, digital media and influencer marketing elements round out the anachronistic effort focused on the empowering aspects of comfort.
Hanes is juxtaposing the buttoned-up nature of the Victorian Era with a sense of liberating comfort to introduce its newest Originals lineup, which is billed as the largest cross-category collection in the apparel brand’s history. Hanes Originals encompasses T-shirts, tank tops, bras, socks and underwear, along with activewear including hoodies, joggers, leggings, shorts and dresses.
Creative from The Martin Agency shows off the products by leaning into anachronism and crediting Hanes with the “invention of comfort” dating back to 1901. A hero cinematic spot revolves around a diverse cast of high-society people as they sweat in the period’s typically ornate sartorial styles. In one instance, a crowd fidgets at a classical piano concert. As the level of discomfort reaches a breaking point, one member of the audience flees to a separate room to strip down to his red Hanes underwear and dance alone to Blondie’s hit single, “Heart of Glass.” The door to the private chamber is eventually opened by accident, revealing himself to the audience in a moment that initially plays like it might lead to humiliation until the rest of the crowd joins in.
The two-minute commercial is intercut with scenes where other people struggle to deal with stuffy Victorian clothes, such as a man posing for a portrait or a woman receiving a fitting for a corset. Each scene ends in a similar outcome, with the characters left in little but their Hanes intimates, while the long-form ad concludes with a group of women burning their clothes. These vignettes — the piano recital, the portrait session and the corset-fitting — serve as the basis for a trio of shorter, 30-second ads that support a launch around NBA Playoffs broadcasts on ESPN, ABC and TNT.
Subverting stodgier historical periods through pop cultural references, fourth-wall breaking and a diverse mix of actors has become in vogue in Hollywood and adland. Netflix’s hit series “Bridgerton” is emblematic of the trend, and Hanes seems to be trying to capture a similar appeal while still honoring its roots.
“Going back to 1901 serves as a nod to Hanes’ iconic history while helping consumers to view the brand’s origin story reimagined through a modern lens,” said Sandra Moore, vice president of brand marketing of Hanes & Intimates, in a statement. Moore added that “Make Yourself Comfortable” strives for relevance to a “diverse and modern audience.”
Longtime partners, Hanes and The Martin Agency have made inclusivity a bigger theme in recent years. A 2019 push centered on body positivity for men, with models representing a range of sizes and ages.